Steve Burks - These Nights (Album Review)

By Deaglan Howlett | Posted Sunday, December 10, 2017

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These Nights is the latest effort from New Jersey’s Steve Burks.  The EP, which was released October 6th, is his first since 2015’s Where I Belong.  Since his last release, Burks has clearly been polishing his songwriting and has really found his sound on this release.  The record itself also sounds polished, having recorded the EP at North End Recording in Passaic, NJ.  In addition to a change in studio, Burks found a group of producers that really knew what he was going for with Sammy Kay, Brian Rothenbeck and Ed Elduka.

Burks’ influences truly shine through on this release, without drowning out his original sound. On this EP I heard a lot of Bob Dylan, Lucero, Gaslight Anthem and some late Replacements/solo Paul Westerberg.  This record gives the listener a look in at Burks’ record collection, and he manages to utilize these influences to give a familiar sound to his fans and a platform to perform his songs of loss.  This EP is emotionally heavy and the listener can tell Burks put all he had into these five songs.

My first listen, I immediately noticed the change in production.  These Nights is professional-sounding as all hell.  I also noticed a change in songwriting.  2015’s Where I Belong is a truly determined and hopeful EP.  Burks himself sums up that release, stating:

“This record was written entirely in hotel rooms, backseats of cars, airport bars, and every truck stop the Garden State Parkway and Turnpike has to offer.  I've always called New Jersey home, but a day doesn't go by where I don't think about grabbing my guitar, filling up the tank, putting Bob Dylan on the stereo and just leaving; driving until the lines on the road are as permanent a fixture as the tattooed lines on my skin.  Having no desire to stop until I've found myself, found a place I can call home, whether it be California, Tennessee, New Orleans, Texas.  Thinking about the past with each state line I cross; the good times, the bad, the broken hearts, the tears, the last calls, my family, my friends; and how I traded it all for the open road and the stars above.  Praying these 4 wheels, and heavy heart lead me to the dream continuously playing in my mind of finding Where I Belong.”

When I asked Burks if he had any words about These Nights, he was less willing to explain, and the music truly does do all of the talking.  He told me “...this album is extremely personal to me, like songs that have been brewing for like 13 years but could never actually put the thoughts into words.  In a weird way, this album was some sort of strange closure for me.”

The songs tell the listener directly what Burks has been feeling.  This release is beautifully personal, and I am sure it took a lot out of him to write these songs and share them.  The hardest part of the creative process is sharing, yet Burks seems to have done that with ease.

Thanks, Steve.

Jersey City/NYC Indie Pop Singer Giselle Releases Mixtape, "not ready to grow up"


Jersey City/NYC indie pop singer Giselle’s mixtape, not ready to grow up, was recently released on November 17th.  The 9-song mixtape offers a raw, aggressive take on traditional pop music in a tug-of-war between beauty and darkness.  Giselle is perhaps most notable for singing the 2015 viral hit diarreah song” featured on FX, which collectively garnered nearly 500,000 views on YouTube.  Giselle’s not ready to grow up signifies the pop singer’s evolution with music that is honest and vulnerable, highlighting her dynamic vocal range and taking us on a rollercoaster from youthful innocence to the harsh reality of growing up in today’s society.  Every song on the mixtape will be accompanied by a music video, all of which have been directed by women—offering a change of pace in a world in which women are often underrepresented.

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Listen to the mixtape in its entirety here.


Meghan Ianiro
Press Manager

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Hip Hop Artist IgnoVa Announces Release Date for Two Singles (Sept. 22, 2017)



            NEW JERSEY, September 14, 2017 - New Jersey native IgnoVa, a rising hip hop musician, today announced his next two singles, 'Here We Go' and 'STD', will be released September 22, 2017.  This will mark the rapper's first multi-song release, having showcased his first single in February.  Both trap-inspired songs will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and international streaming services.

            'Here We Go' is the first of Ignova's singles to be released on September 22nd. Highlighting down-tempo trap drums, 'Here We Go' tells of the trials of balancing relationships with music work.  “'Here We Go' expresses how regardless of one's demanding tasks and duties, this person still finds time for a significant other,” IgnoVa explains.

            'STD', the second of IgnoVa's compositions being released the same date, incorporates an upbeat tempo and driving bass line.  Remarking on the single's theme, IgnoVa said, “'STD' showcases how the power of words and flow can garner enough energy to make an individual dance regardless of the situation at hand.”  An acronym for “Shake, Twerk, Drop”, 'STD' embraces modern party elements.

            Previous to the September release date, IgnoVa has digitally distributed one single and two mixtapes.  Most recently, the rapper released 'Right Now', a danceable hip hop tune embodying braggadocio prototypical of rap history's most acclaimed idols.  Mixtapes 'EMU' and 'EMU 2' acted as dual music collections that set the stage for the musician's foray into the world of rap.  IgnoVa has also been featured on Thousand Times by electro-pop singer M.C. Pollock. 

            IgnoVa is an international hip hop artist who combines maintstream genres with an astounding, acute presentation of lyrics.  Known for his trademark K E E P positiveSpirit™ campaign, the young NJ native's mission is far from over.  More information can be found at